Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why Do You Need A Gun?

In the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, the pesky little right to bear arms is recognized.  It's not created there, it is recognized.  And the government is restricted from making laws that infringe on this right. 

In the discussions of gun ownership, people often fall into two traps.  Trap 1; the government gave us the right to own guns.  Trap 2; you only need guns that are for hunting, and that you can hunt with.

These are both traps.

The Government Gave Us Rights

The government doesn't grant rights.  The Constitution and the Amendments give the government certain powers.  Everything else is retained by the people that own and have title to rights.  This would be the people. 

Guns Are For Hunting

The second amendment we spoke of earlier says nothing about hunting.  It is talking about arms, owned by the people or citizens to be necessary for the regulation of a free state.  This recognition is basically, if people can't defend themselves, then they can be oppressed.  Oppressed by thugs, gangs, crooks and governments.  The founders had personal experiences with all of these.  We have been lucky.  So so lucky.

Why Do You Need A Gun?

I was shocked when a friend of mine asked this question.  And I answered poorly.  It is a bad and manipulative question.  I know that he didn't intend it to be, it has just become part of the narrative.  But the answer is simple. I need a gun because I have the right to have one.

What if we asked, "Why do you need free speech?" or "Why do you need religion?" These questions should sound ridiculous.  They are.  So is the quesiton, "Why do you need a gun?"

We should be embarrassed to even ask. "Why do you need ..."  Because a right unused will soon be lost.


  1. I disagree with your statement that "a right unused will soon be lost." I never use my third amendment right not to quarter soldiers in my house, but it's still there.

    I also disagree with your statement that "I need X because I have the right to have X." I have the right to own a lot of things, but I don't. I technically have the right to own a rubber chicken, but I that doesn't mean that I "need" to own a rubber chicken.

    Now, it's completely different to ask, "Why do you need the freedom to own a gun?" Maybe that's what you were trying to say. That might classify as a "ridiculous" question.

    I would argue that while we definitely need the freedom to own a gun, we don't necessarily need to actually own a gun.

    So I'll ask it again (assuming that I'm the "friend" that you were referring to) "Why do you feel the need to own a gun?"

  2. The "friend" was more than one person. So I do think we have had this discussion, and you may have actually asked the question.

    By the way, how are the soldiers you are quartering doing? I exercise the right to not quarter them every day that my home remains free from occupation. :)

    Why do I feel the need to own a gun? For the same reason I feel the need to practice a religion, or own a car, or a T.V. or write on this blog. I don't need a reason, I have the right to it. It's my right to exercise it whenever I want to.

    I don't have to explain it. Or talk about hunting, or sport, or home protection. When I buy a car, no one asks what I will do with it.

    Sorry to say, but its a bit arrogant to think that other people need to justify exercising their rights to anyone.

    I don't know if this answers your question. It probably doesn't. But that is kind of my point.

    1. Hold on now, I'm not asking you to "justify" your desire to own a gun. My question comes purely from curiosity as to why people choose to own firearms.

      I don't ask you why you own a car or TV because I assume they're for similar reasons why I own a car or TV. But I don't own a gun, and I have no desire to own a gun, so I'm naturally curious as to why other people do have that desire.

      I'm not trying to take away your freedoms. If you own a gun simply because you want to exercise your second amendment rights, that's a perfectly legitimate reason. I'm just curious as to what your personal reasons for owning a gun are. I suppose you can answer with "That's none of your business" but that won't help me to understand your position on this topic.

  3. I understand your curiosity. And then again, I don't.

    I don't own a motorcycle. I have never asked anyone why they own one.

    What is curious to me, is that you don't see a gun the same way.

    I accept that owning a motorcycle is a normal thing. Lots of people own one. Lots of people don't. I am sure some people don't like them. Other people love them.

    I own one, because I have always owned one. I grew up with them, and when I moved out and on my own, I bought a toaster, and iron, a car and a gun. (not necessarily in that order or all at the same store, but all for the same reason.)

    Owning a gun is like owning a motorcycle. It is a tool, fun to use, and provides other benefits to people that know how to use one. And just like driving, I think everyone should understand how to drive even if they don't own a car/motorcycle.

    So, want to go shooting sometime?

    1. As to why I "don't see a gun the same way," you may have unintentionally hit upon the reason. I don't own a motorcycle for the same reason I don't own a gun, and that's because I see them as dangerous.

      While I understand that gun-related fatal accidents are statistically very unlikely, they're even more unlikely if you don't own a gun. Same with motorcycles :)

      And it's totally fine that you (or any other gun owner) wants to own a gun (or a motorcycle), because you have certain reasons to (they're "fun to use" as you say). I was curious as to what those reason are. So far, I have yet to hear a reason why I personally would own a gun that would outweigh the risk.

      And again, it's totally fine if you have reasons that outweigh the (admittedly minuscule) risks. I was just curious as to what those reasons would be. Thanks for sharing with me.

    2. I only have a few years on you, but I remember a time before ATM cards, debit cards, and checkout scanners. I remember when these technologies were first introduced. And I recall large groups of people being uncomfortable with them. Today, we all have them, use them, and can't really imagine living without them.

      The difference between people being comfortable checking out of a store with a barcode scanner and being afraid of it is simply familiarity and education. Once people understood that the debit card wasn't going to let the store clerk suck out all of their money, and the scanner was more accurate than a manual checker they stopped being afraid of them.

      Guns are the same way. If all you know is what you see on TV, you might think that all computer programmers can hack into the pentagon, and that guns are to dangerous to let anyone own. But if you get to know how firewalls, encryption, and firearms work and become familiar with their use, programmers and gun will stop seeming scary.

      BTW, the offer to go to the range and plug some targets is still open.